Fr. Carl Arico will address our community beginning with a replay of a talk he gave in Florida in 2016 addressing Compassion for all in our country as we put on the Mind of Christ in this time of grief and forgiveness (not necessarily reconciliation). Following that he will address how we bring this compassion to our world. In this uncertain time we must get in touch with our feelings: cry, forgive, and be generous.
Alfred Delp, a Jesuit martyr in the 1940’s in Germany, wrote “We must keep on reminding modern people that God stands at the door ready and waiting. But that they themselves must open the door. The grim happenings around us, the devastation and violence, are not exaggerated rumors. They are solid fact. And God knocks at the door of our spirit. His invitation to surrender to Him, and embrace and return His freedom, is a thing that should be taken very seriously. And He is calling to us to be creative.”
Fr. Carl recommends reading Henri Nouwen’s The Return of the Prodigal Son, particularly the conclusion, Becoming the Father. Fr. Arico is honored to have known Fr. Keating since 1969 and believes whole-heartedly in the purpose of Contemplative Outreach. As testament to his faith in the power of contemplative prayer, Fr. Arico has practiced Centering Prayer since 1975 and taught the prayer since 1978. He also was present for the first intensive Centering Prayer retreat that Father Keating offered at the Lama Foundation in San Cristobal, New Mexico in 1983, which many founding members of Contemplative Outreach attended. Fr. Arico has seen Contemplative Outreach develop from a wish to the organization it is today. “The growth that has taken place in Contemplative Outreach,” he observes, “is a miracle of God’s grace and the power of prayer.”
Fr. Arico is known for his humor and his ability to bridge the linguistic gap between the clergy and laity. He credits this ability to the positions he held following his ordination as a diocesan priest for the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ in 1960. In 1987, he accepted the full-time responsibility of becoming a staff member of Contemplative Outreach, Ltd. at the request of Fr. Thomas Keating.
Fr. Carl is a co-author of the book Living Our Priesthood Today (1987) with Fr. Basil Pennington, and the author of Taste of Silence, a guide to Centering Prayer.